Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tunesday: The Christmas Jams

Here at Tunesday HQ, Christmas is coming a week early, y'all. See, I figure some of you are putting together a shin-dig at your home — spending an inordinate amount of time acquiring the proper libations, getting your decor just so and reminding the kiddos to act right because Santa will be watching. I realize that leaves very little time to put together a fly-ass, festive playlist.

Even though it would be much more fun writing about terrible Christmas tracks, I am opting to help you with your soundtrack situation (hey, Santa's paying attention to me, too) with the following, can't-miss musical selections. My qualifications? Years of playing and singing holiday songs at schools and churches and listening to looped carol collections during my stints in retail.

In no particular order, here are 5 of the dozen-or-so faves I could listen to year-round:



Your Christmas album collection is sorely incomplete if it lacks "The Ultimate Motown Christmas Collection." There are some half-baked items and cheesy greetings from artists, but, overall, the record is one of my favorites. The traditional versions of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" are completely ruined after you hear The Jackson's cut. After just one listen, you'll realize the genius of starting the chorus on the offbeat. It just doesn't get much funkier, friends.



I appreciate how the exploits of Kevin McCallister may have ruined this track for many; but I love its simplicity. And, I especially love how Chuck Berry made up a completely new flying reindeer called Randolph. I like to think Chuck's cousin, Marvin, gave him the idea — initially recommending that he name the 10th reindeer either Marty or Gandalf.




On paper, this unlikely pairing sounds like an awful idea. I get the sense Bing wasn't quite thrilled to perform with Bowie, but it's undeniable the two created a classic duet. The same can't be said for Bing and Twiggy.




Not unlike The Jackson 5's contribution, Mariah Carey's now classic Christmas song swings way more than what we've come to expect of holiday songs. Dope bass line, solid bridge and a silly video. What could be better? Perhaps The Roots and Jimmy Fallon taking the classic in a new direction.



If you ask me, I think there are quite a few similar elements between Mariah's song and this one. I wouldn't be surprised if the songwriter was a fan of Darlene Love, who first recorded "It's Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."

So, what tracks did I miss?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

PRiceless
Doing the Dallas Marathon right

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Tunesday to bring you something more timely. 

Sunday brought the long-anticipated White Rock Dallas Marathon. After having a less-than great showing at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon last April, I set my sights on this race as my running redemption.

I trained better than I ever have for my third marathon. In addition to regular sessions at White Rock Lake and long runs around East Dallas, I spent many early mornings (4 a.m. alarm) heading for the hills of Lake Highlands subdivisions. Up to twice a week, I ran up and down these substantial hills (for flat Dallas) seeking to get stronger and faster.

A good showing at the DRC Half last month was encouraging; but you just never know how one's fitness will translate over twice the distance, and you just never know what race day will bring.

For starters, race day brought humid, 70-degree temperatures. This wasn't a surprise; and while it wasn't ideal, it didn't bum me out terribly. Last year's marathon, it was 40 degrees, windy and wet. Texas presents this meteorological mixed bag. You can't predict weather in December, and complaining about it won't change a thing. Instead, I entered the race with a plan to dump water on my head and drink at every water station in addition to maintaining a two to three Endurolytes per 30 minute regimin.

Photo courtesy of Mama C
Pre-race: Caged in corral A with fast Matt Florence. Folks with G-town ties represented strong at this race. My buddy Steve, who also has Garland roots, finished his first 26.2.

The race started in downtown Dallas, as opposed to Fair Park in recent years. The course took runners across the Trinity River and through a 4-mile loop of West Dallas. The spectators in this section were excellent — among some of the loudest on the entire course. I could easily hear them over my music. The highlight was running across the much-publicized (and vilified) but, IMHO, impressive Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

The first 6 miles, I was cruising — averaging 8:08 miles (so says this graphic), which admittedly was on the fast side (gotta work on tempering the excitement). I was keeping up with the 3:35 pace group (not my goal) but knew I would need to slow down if I had any hope of making my real goal. There was way too much race left to run too fast too early. So I let off the gas slightly as the marathon course headed northeast into Turtle Creek. My body-temperature regulating plan was doing the trick, but I started to notice a side effect of dumping all that water on my head — the runoff was collecting in my shoes. By mile 9, I could feel an enormous blister forming on the bottom of my right foot. It didn't hurt yet; but I knew it was going to be a nagging annoyance for the remainder of the race.

Photo courtesy of TPG
I have no idea who that guy to the left of me is; but he might be an extra from "Bill Swerski's Super Fans."
Mile 11 brought encouragement from my awesome sister and That Pink Girl. Knowing that these spectathletes would be at this spot cheering made the first half of the race enjoyable. With a pep in my step and en route to White Rock Lake, I crossed 13.1 at 1:47:32.


Photo courtesy of TPG
The back half of the race was supposed to be easier this time around. A good portion of the course follows the trail I train on all the time. A homefield advantage. But my increasingly painful foot and overall fatigue started to take their toll. By mile 16, I needed to take walk breaks. And even when I was running, I had to find motivation by setting goals — such as reaching random objects that were 100 yards ahead and keeping pace with people in front of me. The good news was the blister hadn't popped (gross, I know; just be thankful I'm not one to post funky foot photos on my blog). If it had, I probably would have required some medical attention, which would have derailed any attempt at reaching my goal.

Leaving the lake portion of the course provided a bit of a boost. Sure, one of the tougher stretches — the aptly named, back-to-back Dolly Partons Hills — lay in front of me. But that also meant I'd see a friend, EK, one of the better-dressed, cheering spectators dressed as Dolly Parton (get a load of him in this pic and this pic). He ran alongside me up the second hill in his getup, offering encouragement as he held water in one hand and beer in the other. 

At this point I was at mile 20; stretching my tight legs was now an every 6 or so minute routine. The 3:45 pace group had passed me earlier, and I was fearing I would see the 4:00 group eclipse me any minute. Fortunately I knew I had one more opportunity to see friends at mile 21. 

Photo courtesy of TPG
And I did. Fiona, TPG, Dat and Mama C were there and I was struggling. At this point I really felt like I was just barely putting one foot in front of the other. It only felt that way, because I still was managing to average 9:30 miles.

Photo courtesy of Mama C
Mile 21: This is one of the shots where I don't look like death warmed over. 
Sometimes all it really takes is a good pep talk. TPG gives the best ones. With about 5 miles left, she reminded me that I could indeed do anything for 5 miles.

Photo courtesy of Mama C
TPG cooked up an elaborate spectating plan to see several runners at the Dallas Marathon. Each was thrilled to see her on the course. Even though I felt like hell at this point, I will gladly run any distance if it leads me to my favorite Pink Girl.  
I was re-energized emotionally, but I still was pretty damn tired, and my barking right dog was negatively affecting my form. The last section of the race was through historic Swiss Avenue. This neighborhood is filled with architectural marvels; but I barely noticed the estates as I concentrated on small milestones — again motivating myself to run to the next stop sign or intersection and then reevaluating how I felt before choosing the next inanimate object to push toward.

Next thing I knew, there were only about two miles remaining. I was in Deep Ellum, scene of many a club show and late night ridiculousness in my late teens and early 20s. Back then I would have never imagined I would willingly pay to run down Elm Street. 

The view exiting Deep Ellum was spectacular. Downtown Dallas' remarkable skyline welcomed runners as we entered the final stretch toward the convention center. Motivated to move by the ticking clock, I gave it all I could. It felt like I had very little energy left in me; but I kept on moving. I knew there would be a good crowd at the finishers shoot, including my friends. I grimaced as I tried to find another gear for the final quarter mile. 

Photo courtesy of TPG
In pain but determined to meet my goal: I don't remember seeing other runners on the course at this point. Focused.
My calves started to seize up, but I kept moving forward. I made the last turn and could see the clock in front of me. I moved faster. The digits on the display increased. The distance between me and the finish line decreased. The next thing I knew, I had crossed the line. 

3:59:23. That was my goal. Well, not that number exactly. But under 4 hours. And I just made it. But truthfully, if I had put the same effort into the race and finished at 4:00:01, I still woulda been thrilled. Why? Because I ran the best race I could on that day. I felt awful at the finish line. My body was ready to shut down and not move for several minutes. I obliged. I left everything on the course. And that felt effin' fantastic — y'know, in a "This hurts like hell" kind of way. It's worth the pain sometimes. It's not every day that I accomplish a goal like this — I chopped 38 minutes off my PR from last year (4:37:27). I paid my dues and earned it. I learned a lot from friends along the way, too; their experiences, blog posts and advice have been invaluable. They've tackled immense challenges, have overcome odds and have been phenomenally inspirational. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Photo courtesy of TPG
So, what's next? I'm not sure; but I have a few thoughts. After the restful holidays I'll figure something out. Because life's too short to not pursue the extraordinary.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tunesday: "A Day at the Races," Jurassic 5



Here we are: Dallas Marathon race week. On Sunday, I'll race my third 26.2. A year ago — Dec. 4, 2011 — I ran my first marathon, the White Rock Marathon (for those not in Dallas-Fort Worth, it's the same race, just a different name and course).


I don't plan to heel-click this year; I
want to finish sprinting and cross that
line with nothing in the tank.
I had little idea what to expect last year. I had trained for months and logged a couple 20-plus long runs; but nothing could prepare me for what it felt like to actually race that distance and actually finish a marathon. It was tough (cold and wet). It hurt (stiff legs needed stretching after 20 miles), and my ancient iPod died right around 20 miles, too (the last song I heard: the "Grey Album" version of "99 Problems").

Leading up to this Sunday, I've trained smarter and I have a well-charged Shuffle that will last much longer than I'll need. And I have an extraordinary playlist that includes one of my favorite hip-hop groups — Jurassic 5, who rank just below the Beastie Boys in my world. I didn't grow up with J5 like I did the B-Boys, but I picked up on the group when I first heard "What's Golden," probably their best-known track (DMB fans better not say "What about 'Work It Out'?" ... though, I confess, the video has its moments).

But "A Day at the Races" is my all-time fave J5 track. That beat, that bass line, the BPM are all perfect. And each rapper's section, including a guest spot by Big Daddy Kane, is tight as can be. I could probably run half of the marathon solely listening to this track. I won't, but I could.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

SCATTERSHOOTING SUNDAY
Making changes, giving thanks and trotting like a turkey


As of Monday, Nov. 19, I am officially the Web Content Specialist at the City of Irving. It's an exciting time to join the city. It recently received the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and new developments (DART's Orange Line and Water Street in Las Colinas) are positive signs for the city of 220,000.

My career has been a winding one. This latest move is just what I had been looking for — new challenges, more structure/organization and all-around positive.

For those who follow me on Twitter, the biggest work-related change on that channel is already apparent: The hourly links to random, interesting stories are no more. That's no longer part of my job. Instead, part of my new gig includes overseeing the city's Facebook and Twitter pages. Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't say that the views I share here or post on my personal Twitter page do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Taking a photo with a timer is always a comedic process.
This photo shows it's worth the effort.
Thanksgiving was great this year. In addition to starting a new job, I have countless blessings for which I am thankful. Good friends, wonderful relationships and abundant love are at the top of the list. I was happy I had so much free time this holiday to spend with my sister and mother. We reminisced about past holidays, put up/decorated two Christmas trees and had a fantastic dinner at Central 214 at Hotel Palomar — the Potato Gruyere Gratin might be the best side dish I've ever had. And the incredible gnocchi with ricotta salata, buttercup squash and mushroom was dynamite. Considering it's meat-centric holiday, I was very impressed with the thoughtful selections for vegetarians on the menu. My compliments to chef Graham Dodds for putting together such a wonderful array of seasonal treats.

That's me in the middle, just about ready to pass out from
sprinting the final half-mile. I love that the pic has the
Omni Hotel and Reunion Tower in the background. Dallas!
Eating such an immense, delicious, high-calorie feast is made all the easier when you start the day with a bit of physical exertion. My sister and I participated in the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot. Celebrating its 45th year, The Trot is a 5K/8-mile race that is more "fun run" than anything I've ever done. There's always a first for everything, yes? Since this was my first (only?) 8-mile race, an automatic PR was in the bag. Considering how congested the streets were for the first two miles (strollers, dogs, walkers, oh my!) I was pleased with my time of 1:01:42. It's not easy piling into a corral with 40,000 other people and negotiating jam-packed city streets. I didn't expect the race to be as seamless, runner-friendly or organized as the half-marathons and marathons I've raced, so I wasn't too disappointed (frustrated at times, sure) with the chaos of the race.

In just 13 days, the Dallas Marathon will start near the same spot as The Trot. This training cycle is winding down, and I am feeling great. Last year, I didn't have much of a clue what I was doing. I was fairly certain I could finish the race, but I didn't know what it would be like. Entering this year's race, I have improved my training and I better understand what it takes to run this distance. If all goes as planned, I'll have a great accomplishment to share on this blog.



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tunesday: Shorties but goodies

A typical single is about three to five minutes. It's rare for anything clocking in much longer than that sweet spot will become a hit. One rulebreaker is Oasis' full-length version of "All Around the World" (nearly 10 minutes long). The band reached no. 1 with the track on the U.K. charts in 1998 ... not unlike their major influence, The Beatles and their seven-minute "Hey Jude," which set the standard for a lengthy hit prominently featuring "nah" decades earlier.

I'm not the first (nor the last) to say this: Short and sweet can be a nice thing. Recently, NME and Paste championed the best sub-two-minute songs. Between the two, obvious tracks ("Fell In Love With a Girl" and "Vaseline") are listed, but there are some less-heralded quickies ("Tourettes" and "I Will") that receive their due. But there are others that I'm fond of, so why not give you a few:

"Frank Mills," The LemonheadsOnly Evan Dando can get away with covering this song from "HAIR." Growing up, I didn't have a clue about the song's origin. I just thought it was a cool, strange track. "It's a Shame About Ray" is a perfect rainy-day record that features five, sub-to-minute tracks. Just put it on and let it play over and over.

"Rave On," Buddy Holly: Lubbock's own. Most of his songs with The Crickets were less than three minutes long. And most of them are gems. A pure song-writing genius.

"Let's Go," Rancid: Sure, there are at least a few really good Minor Threat or Fugazi songs that could go right here, too. But when it comes to quick, catchy, piss-n-vinegar punk, I opt for Rancid.

"Flute Loop," Beastie Boys: Sampled from "Flute Thing" by The Blues Project, this song just makes me happy. And sometimes that's all a song needs to do. Am I right?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tunesday: "It Won't Be The Last Time," Justin Townes Earle



Steve Earle's son hasn't had an idyllic life so far. Some good has come from a tough life filled with run-ins with the law and addiction, namely an impressive catalog of intensely powerful songs. His latest album, "Nothing's Going To Change The Way You Feel About Me Now," is the 30-year-old Earle's finest. Although his previous release, "Harlem River Blues," received more critical praise, "Nothing's Going To Change" finds the Americana singer-songwriter comfortable with his lot in life. Unapologetic and self-aware, Earle is in a comfortable place that affords us a peek into his world. And it's an increasingly interesting place to visit.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tunesday: "Mayor of Simpleton," XTC



Wrong or not, I lump XTC in the category of "nerd rock." Other bands/artists that fall in the category include They Might Be Giants, Weezer, The Flaming Lips and "Weird Al" Yankovic, to name a few. The common thread is that they don't necessarily look like they rock.  But, boy, do they ever. And I love their music, unique style and mold-breaking approach to rocking and/or rolling.

XTC is a fine example of a band of technically skilled musicians and songwriters whose success was most likely negatively affected by the power of MTV. When Music Television played music videos, style trumped substance, especially in its first decade. More than ever, talented artists needed to look the part. If they didn't, the song either needed to be truly outstanding and/or its video needed to be technically groundbreaking, feature scantily clad models and/or be a thinly-veiled advertisement (looking directly at you, Dire Straits, and you, The Cars).

I never owned any of XTC's albums, but their tracks slipped into my life's soundtrack over the years ("The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" and "Making Plans for Nigel"). The first song I heard by XTC was the excellent but controversial tune "Dear God,"  but "Simpleton" remains one of my favorite songs by any band. Why? No question about it: That's a sick bass line, y'all. Colin Moulding is all over that fretboard, just rolling throughout the whole song. It's a complicated line, but it doesn't overwhelm the rest of the tune; instead, it complements the melody and propels the track. It's just genius.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

DRC HALF 2012
SurPRise!

The first running race I ever entered was the DRC Half in 2011. I figured it would be a good idea to know what racing felt like before I tackled last year's White Rock Marathon. Racing the Half turned out to be a good decision, namely because I had a bad-for-me race. I overheated, cramped from dehydration and had to walk a good bit in order to finish at 2:09:22. Even though I struggled, it felt great to race. My time was good despite the struggle and I learned that I needed to improve my hydration strategy. I made that change and I proceeded to have an excellent first marathon. 

Working toward my third marathon — I'm shooting for a very good race at the Dallas Marathon next month — I figured why not run the Half again. It's close to my house, on a familiar course and friends are running it, too. My training is far better than what I was doing last year. I've added a healthy mix of hills, which have made me stronger, lighter and faster. Entering this year's Half, I thought I was capable of besting my PR (1:49:42 at a chilly Texas Half) but I would be content with at least maintaining a consistent 8-minute-or-so pace and possibly speeding up on the back half.  

Courtesy of TPG
At about 4.5 miles, I was stoked to see
friends who biked down to cheer on
the runners. Upon seeing them and their
signs — one was a large cutout of my
face! — and hearing their encouragement,
I knew I was going to have a strong race.
It was an awesome surprise.  
The race started great. The weather was perfect — 50s, occasional breeze — and the hour we gained from reverting back to standard time meant extra rest. Of course, "falling back" also meant more sunshine during the race; the temperature steadily increased. Nothing too bad. I stayed hydrated, carrying my trusty Nathan handheld, which I filled twice on the course, and I popped one to three Endurolytes every 35-40 minutes.

Courtesy of TPG
Ten-and-a-half miles done at this point, I
knew a PR was still attainable. Better yet, I
still felt great. Bonus: I also saw Mama C
cheering at this section of the course!
The course is sorta hilly by Dallas' standards. There's a residential section from mile 3 to mile 7 that presents a challenge to runners of this mostly flat region. Last year, I struggled with the hills and had to walk some. I had no problems with them this year. Now, that doesn't mean I love running uphill or that I'm great at it. What it means is that I handle them fairly well now and don't dread inclines when I approach them (a lesson learned from the OKC Marathon). 

Courtesy of TPG
The finish line in sight, I pushed the
pace. Always finish strong!
I neared the finish line and saw my friends again (elite spectathletes That Pink Girl, Heidi and Brian, and Greg (who most recently dominated a double century) and my sister (I cannot wait to run the Turkey Trot with her!) who shot the following clip:


Half marathon number four in the books, I have a shiny new PR — 1:47:36 — and I feel confident entering the last month of marathon training. What's more, it's an exciting time of year. There are exceptional opportunities and challenges in front of me (more about those later), and I cannot wait to take them on as I continue to grow and live the best life I could have ever hoped for.  And I have the photo to prove it.




Friday, November 2, 2012

FIVE PHOTO FRIDAY
Halloween fashion, Austin trip, Ironman 70.3, sketchy dive bar, my name with an "E"

So I had high hopes I would find a new costume to wear to work on Halloween (costumes are mandatory at my office). I frequented thrift stores and discount retailers and tried to piece together some semblance of a clever or cool outfit. I failed. What you see above is an attempt to dress like a hipster — striped shirt and loud-red skinny jeans. I didn't purchase either. I ended up wearing my costume from last year: the alligator outfit I wore for a "Swamp People" group. Next year, I plan to retire the gator and come up with a great Halloween idea. Your input is welcome.


We spent last weekend in one of my favorite cities — Austin. The primary purpose of the trip was Ironman 70.3 (more on that shortly). But we also managed to hit up some of the places that make ATX so dang cool — Mellow Johnny's, Mother's Cafe, Ken's Donuts and Toy Joy, among others. It's been a dozen years since I lived in the city and a lot has changed, but it's still a special place to me. I can't imagine a day when the thought of hanging out in the capital city will lose its appeal.

That fella right there is the one-and-only Andy Potts. He's kind of a big deal in the triathlon world that I know scant about. As cool as it was to see elite triathletes last weekend (Andy emerged from the lake in 22:34!!!), I was there to support That Pink Girl.

I'm not even going to lie: When I saw the new name and sign for this bar near my house, I pronounced it Al-eee-bees. Half a second later, I shook my head and realized my mistake. I will go on the record and say I will not frequent this spot on a few blocks from my home. Formerly named Three Points, you may remember it from such police reports as "Dallas police investigate shootings outside of open mic rap show in Lake Highlands area". I get that crime can (and does) happen anywhere, but it's always disturbing when it's in your backyard.


A neighborhood business I do support is the cleaners down the street, even though the folks there continue to spell my last name with an E. That's always bothered me and the entire Tracy family, including Dick and Spencer.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tunesday: "Landing On A Hundred," Cody ChesnuTT

Instead of typing a coherent blog post about some music, I am entrenched in an online course I'm taking through my work. It's not very exciting — finance and accounting. Until recently, these were topics I had very little grasp of; I'm still not an expert, but it's nice to have a better understanding.

While I study, I'm listening to Cody ChesnuTT's latest album, "Landing On a Hundred," which is streaming at NPR. Most folks will remember him as the hook singer for The Roots' 2.0 version of his song "The Seed." His new record is chill and the perfect soundtrack for my evening's pursuits. A mix of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, ChesnuTT has a fantastic voice, delivery and style. He's a throwback who does his own thing and isn't content with completely treading the same ground as his influences.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WNX
Wednesday Night Cyclocross in Irving

I had an absolute awesome time taking pictures at the Wednesday Night Cyclocross race at Sam Houston Trail Park in Irving.

Situated near the Interstate 635 and President George Bush Turnpike interchange, an unassuming hill near the Campion Trail is transformed into a cyclocross course every Wednesday evening this fall and winter. In past years, Dallas Bike Works has presented this weekly race at Audubon Park in Mesquite and behind its shop near White Rock Lake. I think this course is better than those. Interested in joining in the fun but don't have a cross bike? No problem. Plenty of riders compete on mountain bikes. In fact, the race I shot was a mix of cross and MTBers.


























Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tunesday: "I'm Nothing," Violent Femmes



As I type this post, I am preparing to watch the final Presidential Debate. This blog isn't your Facebook feed, so I'm not going to overwhelm you with a political rant or the latest nonsense meme. Instead, I offer a relevant song from the always fantastic Violent Femmes.

Regardless of who you support and what you believe, please don't be a complete "nothing." You don't have to belong to a party, but you really should make your voice heard, especially on the local level.

For those of you who live and vote in Dallas-Fort Worth area elections, The Dallas Morning News has a handy voters guide. Also, if you plan to vote early (like I will), here are the voting locations in Dallas County, Collin County, Denton CountyTarrant County and Rockwall County.

Friday, October 19, 2012

FIVE PHOTO FRIDAY
Better late than never

It's been too long since my last Five Photo Friday. Could it really have been a month? Apparently so.

What have I been up to? Plenty. I haven't taken a whole lot of photos though. Some things don't lend themselves to pictures. For example, I am deeply entrenched in an online class for finance and accounting. Do you really want to see a photo of me staring at a balance sheet? I didn't think so.


I also have spent a good bit of free time reading a couple of books — "You Are An Ironman" and Hal Higdon's "MARATHON: The Ultimate Training Guide." I agree with the linked review of "Ironman," and I wish I had read Mr. Higdon's book a lot sooner.



Training-wise, I am now completely committed to running. The Dallas Marathon is not too far down the road. Before then, I will race the DRC Half next month. The good news about my training. I am getting faster. The shot above is my time around White Rock Lake. About 9 miles (9.1, not the 9.33/15K as many believe) in 1:08:31. That's about 20 minutes faster than what I was doing this time last year. Fast = fun. What's made the biggest difference? Running the hills of Lake Highlands two to three times a week. Riding my bike a ton this summer didn't hurt either.


Something else that has helped my running is drinking fewer beers. They really do go straight to the gut. It ain't called a beer belly for nothin'. What you see above is a quasi-rare six-pack of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.'s Rye Pils. DEBC started selling its beer about one year ago, but solely at restaurants, bars and pubs. Now you can get sixers at certain Sigel's.
Pro tip No. 1: You have to ask the sales staff to fetch them. DEBC beers are not in the coolers. Rye Pils, Double Brown Stout and Farmhouse Wit are available at the Sigel's on Greenville Avenue ... while supplies last.
Pro tip No. 2: You can tour the brewery every Thursday and Saturday (link also shows where you can find the superb brews).


I'm not much of a team sports player. What's worse, growing up in Texas, I was a lousy football player.  But I do appreciate the sport and I can be convinced to watch a game from time to time. When my company announced the formation of flag football teams I was quick to say I wouldn't play but equally quick to say I'd attend a game or two to take pictures. Now, I'm not a pro photog, but I used to roam Friday night sidelines backinnaday to snap a few shots for publications. I'm a little rusty, but I sure did have a great time capturing coworkers having fun competing on the gridiron.


Speaking of teams, get a load of that hot T-shirt created by the greatest girlfriend a goofy guy like me could ever imagine. Yep, Team TR13CE. How did I get so lucky?

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